However, Dave points out that he also went twice the distance since he defined the crossing to include the ice shelves, which the early explorers also had to contend with. Furthermore, the recent record contenders had the benefit of modern communications technology and also followed a machine trodden track from the South Pole to the finish (note the tire treads in the photo).
Reading about early Antarctic explorers like Shackleton and Scott, it's hard not to feel like what they did was far more worthy of note than more recent efforts like Colin O'Brady and Louis Rudd's solo crossings.
Sure, Shackleton and Scott had other men with them, and sleds, and dogs, and so on. But they were also traversing greater distances and navigating unknown and unexplored terrain, without the aid of GPS or even weather reports, and with no hope of rescue if things went wrong (and oh boy did things go wrong).
In those days, even getting to Antarctica was no small feat, as Shackleton discovered when his ship was trapped in the ice for ten months and finally sank. And that was just the beginning of their arduous journey!
Certainly what O'Brady and Rudd did wasn't easy and took a great deal of courage, skill, and luck. But I have a hard time getting excited about it.
What would really impress me is if someone replicated Scott's South Pole expedition with period-accurate equipment and no modern technology. Though I would happily allow the use of modern food rations and vitamins to avoid repeating Scott's fatal mistake!
📷 Shackleton's ship, Endurance, sinking below the Antarctic ice in 1915.